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DDK Marketing Case Study

The Challenge: An Organization in High Growth Mode

As a startup DDK needed a way to leverage their limited resources more efficiently as they continued to grow. The original infrastructure was unorganized, unintuitive and inflexible. Working with a remote team wasn’t able to provide the level of service to their customers that the organization wanted.

In 2013 DDK was experiencing significant growth and was faced with the challenge of migrating their team to a more stable, diverse set of systems that would ensure the team could continue to realize growth and enable to team to deliver the level customer satisfaction the organization expected. The organization recognized its needs were expanding:

  • Increased Collaboration – DDK’s team needed a way to share files and client information in a structured and intuitive format. Data needed to be synchronized across devices and support both organizational standard PCs and a BYOD method (bring your own device) for mobile devices. Agility was the key to ensure the team stayed connected regardless of their location.
  • Innovation Promotion – The organization wanted a system that would allow it to expand with a crawl-walk-run approach. On day 1 it needed to support a full customer master and single location for documents, but in the near future it needed to support automated invoicing, a more diverse services portfolio and a growing list of clients.
  • Productivity Gains – Uptime was critical with hard client deadlines. DDK needed a way to ensure that its team had access to all customer information all the time with guaranteed uptime. The systems needed to support remote employees with application, telco and infrastructure stability.
  • Cost Conscious – DDK didn’t want to have increase capital expenses by purchasing new infrastructure to support the business – it wanted a set, monthly cost for technology that could be planned and budgeted. Further, the organization wanted a suite of systems that would support the business as it was but would quickly scale as the company continued to experience significant growth.

The Solution: Enter SMBHD and Best in Breed Cloud Solutions

Partnering with DDK SMBHD performed an assessment of the organization’s current technology needs, short-term business goals and long-term vision. Armed with the right information SMBHD became the organization’s CIO and put together a technology business plan and roadmap based on efficiency and innovation.

Salesforce® – DDK was manage the organization’s client master on a variety of spreadsheets and with exponential growth the client master was getting unruly. SMBHD worked with DDK to implement Salesforce® as a system that would allow the organization to grow and expand over time:

  • As a phase I SMBHD and DDK executed an immediate project to pull the organization’s customer master into a single system and provide the organization a way to track initiatives for every client without needing to refresh and maintain multiple spreadsheets.
  • As time went on DDK continued to expand and gain further control on its client base by implementing additional processes and leveraging automation. The organization built an automated invoicing process and automated production of documents leveraging Conga Composer.

Microsoft Office 365 – The DDK team needed a way to work anywhere, sync data in real-time and work on documents simultaneously. With Office 365 the team could achieve enterprise level results without the costs associated with a large on premise solution.

  • In order to gain enterprise class email and collaboration the team implemented Exchange Online and Skype for Business as part of the Office 365. The solution allowed the team to work across multiple devices keeping all of their email in sync and communicating internally in real time.
  • With SharePoint Online the team was able to sync and collaborate on documents in real time while supporting an appropriate security model for the organizations clients. The solution allowed for faster collaboration with increased productivity.

VOIP – With a new office DDK needed a cost-effective solution to route and answer phone calls from clients. SMBHD recommended and implemented a Hosted VoIP solutions which uses the Internet to manage and route all phone calls instead of a traditional circuit-switched technology. The Hosted VoIP solution allowed DDK to have an auto-attendant to manage calls and enabled the team to receive calls regardless of where they were located allowing for organization continuity when required.

Managed Services – With the majority of the business’s technology in the cloud the organization still needed a way to support the team when problems occurred regardless of the time or place of the problem. DDK decided to partner with SMBHD to leverage the organization’s 24x7x365 managed IT services in order to provide that support. With the SMBHD’s managed IT services DDK could call an engineer anytime a problem occurred and based on guaranteed Service Level Agreements (SLAs) SMBHD would ensure that organization maintained an expected level of continuity and uptime. With the service DDK was also able to reach a team with an expansive list of cross-system certifications that would allow for the organization’s entire list of systems to be properly supported.

The Results: An Organization Based in the Cloud

With a mix of best-in-breed, enterprise class Cloud solutions DDK has been able to continually grow and expand while realizing a decreased Total Cost of Ownership (TCO):

  • The organization was able to add an additional 500 retailers to its programs without needing additional team members effectively adding to the organization’s top-line without an increase in the bottom-line.
  • With Microsoft Office 365 and Hosted VoIP DDK has been able to keep resources working an average of 3 additional days per year due to Chicago’s harsh winter weather conditions.
  • With automated, real-time invoicing in Salesforce® DDK was able to save over 3 weeks of resource time annually allowing the organization to focus on other, revenue generating activities.
  • By automating electronic document production with Salesforce® and Conga Composer DDK was able to realize a cost savings of $10,000 annually.
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Chicago, Illinois


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